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Summary

A panel of experts in urology, urogynecology, nursing, and behavioral therapy convened in 2010 to discuss the importance of a healthy bladder on overall health. They determined that a consensus statement was necessary to raise awareness among the general public, healthcare providers, payors, and policymakers, with the goals of minimizing the impact of poor bladder health and stimulating primary prevention of bladder conditions. In this statement, ‘healthy’ bladder function is described, as well as internal and external factors that influence bladder health. It is suggested that primary prevention strategies should be aimed at providing education regarding normal lower urinary tract structures and functioning to the public, including patients and healthcare providers. This education may promote the achievement of optimal bladder health by increasing healthy bladder habits and behaviors, awareness of risk factors, healthcare seeking, and clinician engagement and reducing stigma and other barriers to treatment. Promoting optimal bladder health may reduce the personal, societal and economic impact of bladder conditions, including anxiety and depression and costs associated with conditions or diseases and their treatment. While adopting healthy bladder habits and behaviors and behaviors may improve or maintain bladder health, it is important to recognize that certain symptoms may indicate the presence of conditions that require medical attention; many bladder conditions are treatable with a range of options for most bladder conditions. Lastly, the authors propose clinical directives based on persuasive and convergent research to improve and maintain bladder health. The authors hope that this statement will lead to promotion and achievement of optimal bladder health, which may improve overall health and help minimize the effects of bladder conditions on the public, healthcare professionals, educators, employers, and payors. The advisors are in consensus regarding the recommendations for improving and maintaining bladder health presented herein.